Sweet. First new song off the new Miracle Fortress album was released. The album, Was I The Wave?, will be out May 17th on Secret City Records. I remember back in ’07 when Five Roses came out, that thing was the shiat. Everybody loved that. And by everybody, I mean everybody I showed it to and a couple odd friends. But yeah, we all totally loved it cuz it was awesome. And this new one probably will be also. In fact, it sounds like Mr. Van Pelt has bumped up his skillz and been listening to more dancey shit in the meantime. Cool. (Via Indie Music Filter)
This week’s artist of the week is a member of the most cutting-edge band working in indie-rock today (oh, I said it). As a solo artist, he’s also respected for creating some of the greatest and most innovative music of, shall we say, the post-2000 indie-rock renaissance (oh, I said that too). The artist of the week is…
Now, I now we’re all psyched about the new album, Tomboy, which is coming out soon (April 12th, less than two weeks from today), but I wasn’t inspired to make Panda Bear the artist of the week because of that album. Rather, he is this week’s artist of the week because I’ve been listening to his first album, the self-titled Panda Bear, released in 1998 when Noah Lennox was just 20 years old. It’s a bit of a rough album, and his singing is, um, amateurish (to be kind) at this stage. Still, songs like “Mich Mit Einer Mond” and “Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick” (both instrumentals) hint at the ability he would later perfect of using electronic and acoustic sounds to create very beautiful and organic-sounding music.
Something about hearing these gifts in their infancy is even more incredible than hearing them in their prime – there’s no question that the music he makes now is better, more developed, more incredible, but still, there’s a purity of talent on the album that is at its most naked and innocence.
Anyways – after his self-titled he made Young Prayer in 2004 which I pretty much just didn’t really dig at all. After that, of course, came the masterpiece we all know and love, Person Pitch, in 2007. To my knowledge it was the first album to use samples in the way that it does, its style and methodology laying the groundwork for the ‘Samplegaze’ genre.
The next Animal Collective album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, would adapt this methodology (though Strawberry Jam also used samples in a very interesting way that anticipated what the band would accomplish next) and some would say that it expanded on them. I’d rather think of MPP and Person Pitch as two sides of the same coin, each displaying distinctly different paths an artist could take with samplegaze. MPP showed how one could create perfectly legitimate and accessible pop music with it (“My Girls”), while Person Pitch showed how one could use samples to create a lush, immersive soundscape to get lost in. And I’d say both efforts were ridiculously successful in accomplishing what they set out to do. Each one deserves to be in every self-respecting indie rocker’s record collection (though it’d be nice if Domino charged less for the MPP vinyl).
So far I’ve been loving the Tomboy singles. As more of a ‘pop structures’ guy, I think I’m going to like it even more than Person Pitch, though my ambient-loving roommate feels the opposite. Can’t wait for it to drop.
Cool song from this band, Butterclock, who are apparently from Berlin and the Faroe Islands. I had never even heard of the latter location before these guys. So not only have they given me a lovely song to listen to and post, but lead to my further geographical education. Bravo. (Via Don’t Die Wondering)
This week’s band of the week is kind of famous by proxy of another band, which itself is also famous really because of another band. However, they’re still a really legits band. The band of the week is…
You – yes, you reading this – sort of, kind of know The Greenhornes. Maybe your eyes scanned their name quickly once or you overheard something or maybe you caught the song of theirs that was used in Jim Jarmusches‘ film Broken Flowers. The reason you kind of know them is because bassist Jack Lawrence and drummer Patrick Keeler are the rhythm section in The Raconteurs – their band with Jack White and Brendan Benson. What most people don’t know is that they’re a great garage band in their own right who’ve been slogging it out since 1996.
So, as we all know, about 10 years ago we had the garage rock revival in which The White Stripes, The Strokes, The Hives and The Vines spearheaded a return to like…good music. That way also included The Greenhornes, who made a kind of lunge for the big time also, most successfully with their 2002 album Dual Mono. In years to come the album may seriously be recognized as a classic (out) of its time. It’s just a solid album with classic retro rockers (“Satisfy My Mind”), dark smoky duets with female singers (“There Is An End”), and pure, shameless power-pop (“Gonna Get Me Someone”).
They made an EP that was released on the once-really-cool V2 label before that fell apart and the rhythm section got recruited by Jack White for not only The Raconteurs, but Lorreta Lynn‘s backing band on the incredible Van Lear Rose album (that White produced). Their latest album – their first since 2002 – is 2010’s ****, or ‘Four Stars‘.
Truth be told, the album sounds very after the fact. The sound of the early 00’s garage rock revival that The Greenhornes continue to sport feels dated, and they’ve lost the momentum that one could feel in the excitement of Dual Mono. The annoying thing is that it’s not like garage rock isn’t still popular, but now what’s in is to sound like lo-fi psych-garage rockers updating the sound of bands like The 13th Floor Elevators (Black Lips, Harlem, Strange Boys). But damnit, they still know how to write some killer songs – namely, “Song 13″. True, it’s not exactly groundbreaking lyrically, but it’s just a phenomenally well-composed piece of rock. The lyrics work beautifully even if they’re not the deepest, and the production and arrangement are just spot on in every way.
The Greenhornes are not a band that deserves to die out, no band that can write songs this stellar should. If they can push themselves to stop writing overly-retro songs like, “Need Your Love”, they’ll be alright. I don’t expect it to happen and it most likely won’t, but whatever, they’ve made some truly great music. Most of us wish we could say the same.
In my first year of University, I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I was at King’s College, which is practically Dalhousie, but smaller and cooler. And you know what? It’s really not all that cold there. At least it’s not any colder that Toronto.
This dude Aux. Out (the pseudonym of Garrett Mombourquette…if that is his real name…) could fool you, though. Based in Darthmouth, NS (it’s like a suburb of Halifax), his spacey, lo-fi recordings are so glacial you can practically hear ice melting off his fingers as he plays and see the fog-breath coming out of his mouth with each word he sings. The track below is the one on his Read Quickly EP (available PWYC on his bandcamp) where he shakes off the snow.
We’re throwing our two cents in…indeed, we are shameless…
Danny: It feels like every child star that’s been chewed up and spit out has culminated in this. It’s so obvious that the song was written by ‘professionals’ – there’s nothing ‘artistic’ about it. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard – the entire song is about what? How Friday is fun? It’s like…the weekend? It sounds like this company was like, “What do kids like? Fridays! Let’s write a song about that!”
There’s nothing going on with the music. It’s the same fucking beat I’ve heard in every pop song that they play on Kiss 92 or whatever. “We we we so excited”? And that rapper who comes in…they use every cliche they could think of! How much more can I tear this song apart?
Marc: Truth is we gotta maybe go a little bit easy on Rebecca Black – it doesn’t appear as though she was trying to make a hit song. I read somewhere that the whole deal was just a way to gain experience with recording a song and music video. And hey, there’s no crime in loving the music-making process, right? And she’s only 13, so come on, let’s give the girl a break.
The song itself is terrible. What’s worse is that this is going to start a wave of idiot tweens whose parents pay big bucks to get shitty factory-made songs and videos made for them. And while legit artists spend years honing their craft, starving, playing empty shows, constantly pushing themselves – these little shits can up a lyric sheet written by some asshole who’s barely literate, have their vocals auto-tuned, and jump to the front of the line because mommy and daddy are footing the bill. That’s bullshit.
And can we please stop with the child stars? Seriously? They’re an insult to artists everywhere and do we really need more tragedies like Michael Jackson and The Two Coreys?
Also, why do they keep singing about the front seat and the back seat of cars? Who cares? They have nothing to do with anything…like at all…